Enron: Destruction by Self Design
America’s biggest strength and its biggest weakness is the freedom of enterprise. When it works, the people flourish, thrive, and enjoy happier lives, but when companies like Enron are allowed to manipulate those freedoms to cover up their criminal acts the people wither, suffer, and are sentenced to poverty. Oftentimes, these acts are swept under the rug as white collar crime but the truth is, crime is crime, there are always victims no matter what color shirt the perpetrator is wearing.
Enron, founded in 1985, shocked the world when in October of 2001 the discovery of their attempts to cover up their financial situation emerged. Enron was bankrupt; what’s more, the shareholders lost 1.1 billion dollars because of it. It seemed the golden child of investment had been a farce, and it was all dedicated to the illegal dealings of Chairman Kenneth Lay, CEO Jeffery Skilling, Anderson partner David Duncan, Anderson lawyer Nancy Temple, Secretary of the Army Thomas White, and Enron Vise President Sherron Watkins. Indeed, the meaning to white collar crime had become notorious.
When Enron first rose up from the merger of Houston Natural Gas and Intermonth it had great promise. The company offered affordable ways to supply electricity, and a practical business model that hinted at positive growth for many years to come. Millions of investors lined up to back the company financially, and year after year the backing seemed to fuel the company into higher profit margins and greater success. Investors were making millions back and the company executives were swimming in cash. However, things are not always as they appear. Enron had been hiding the massive bloodletting of money from their investors by “cooking the books”. Kenneth Lay appeared as the master mind behind the scandal.
In the early 1990's, Lay sold electricity at market price. However, when Congress deregulated the sale of natural gas, the scandal began. By selling...